Friday, July 18, 2008

Substitutions in cooking and baking

Something that has been very helpful to me in my baking and cooking is knowing that I can substitute things in my recipes. I have found lists that give exact amounts and also my mom taught me others. This can be very helpful in running a frugal and healthy kitchen. I can't remember a time that I have been making something and then had to run to a store to get an ingredient (it also helps to have well stocked cupboards).


Substitutions work when you just don't have an ingredient, you want to use a cheaper ingredient or you want to make it more nutritious. I use all 3 reasons. Below is a list of things that I have found that you can use for substitutions. ( I actually use a ton more, but not all of mine are highly successful :-) )


Instead of Buttermilk you can use: Yogurt or regular milk with a tablespoon or so of lemon juice or vinegar.

Instead of Ricotta cheese (in lasagna) you can use: Cottage cheese, sour cream or yogurt.

Instead of 1 cup light cream (particularly for soup) you can use: 1 cup whole milk and 1 tablespoon butter.

Instead of 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate you can use: 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine.

Instead of 1 cup of melted choc. chips you can use: 6 tablespoons cocoa, 7 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup shortening.

Instead of 1 cup cake flour you can use: 7/8 cup all purpose flour sifted with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

Instead of 1 cup honey you can use: 1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar with 1/4 cup liquid.

Instead of 1 cup brown sugar you can use: 1 cup white sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses stirred in.

Instead of oil (in baking) you can use: applesauce, grated zucchini or yogurt. (This works with somethings better than others. I do this a lot, not because I don't have oil but for the nutritional value.)

Instead of 1 tsp. Baking Powder you can use: 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.

Instead of Sour Cream you can use: Yogurt.

Instead of Cream, whipped, you can use: Chill a 13 oz. can of evaporated milk for 12 hours. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice. Whip until stiff.

Instead of Egg (in baking) you can use: 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp vinegar, and 1 tbsp liquid or 1 egg in every 3 can be replaced with 1 tbsp cornstarch or
Soften 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin in 3 tbsp cold water; add 3 tsp boiling water; cool and beat until frothy; add to recipe (reduce other liquid by 2 tbsp).

Instead of Mayonnaise you can use: Sour Cream, Yogurt or pureed Cottage Cheese.

Instead some of the flour in baking you can use: Oatmeal, Corn meal, Rice flour, Bean flour, Whole wheat flour or Rye flour. (This will often mess the texture up a little but it is fun to experiment with and get more nutritional food.)

What are some substitutions that you commonly use?

For lots more frugal tips visit Biblical Womanhood.

8 comments:

Bev said...

Great and useful list!
Thank You very much!

Anonymous said...

This is great, Abbi, thank you!

martha said...

I thought you were going to say you couldn't remember ever making a recipe without substituting something! You probably can't.

All in a Day said...

Wow, that's a list! For eggs I was told to use 1 T of each baking powder, oil, and water, but this last time we tried that, the cookie dough "exploded" in the oven. It always worked for every other recipe though.

Actually, I think it's because Aaron was baking that time!!! ha ha :)

All in a Day said...

Oh, and I like the way you changed your Frugal Blogroll.

Abbi said...

Thanks for the kind comments. I hope that this list will be useful.

Martha you are totally right. I don't know when I cook something without substituting. Whenever I think I have Ken always grills me and finds out that in some way I have changed the recipe.

frugaliving said...

Things I substitute:

Vegetable oil, margarine - butter
Sugar - Rapadura, honey, less of both
Whole Wheat Flour - Spelt flour
Corn starch - spelt flour or arrowroot powder

I'm very much into Real Food/Nourishing Traditions, and believe that good butter is much better than other fats (margarine and vegetable oils, olive oil excluding, are horrible for one's health), and have cut all white and brown sugar out of my diet, along with white flour.

I was fortunate to have a good Home Ec teacher in High school - she taught us the chemistry of such things like yeast, baking powder/soda. I have been baking for over 15 years and have learned a variety of things from many mistakes - isn't that how we usually learn? :D I will check back to this list when I am out of something and don't want to run to the store - thanks for providing such an extensive list!

From The Heart Online said...

Fantastic!! Thanks :) I may just link to this for my Sunday Strolls post ;)

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